No Parade or Picnic: Montclair Cancels Fourth of July Celebration For Second Year

Montclair, for the second year in a row, will not hold its traditional Fourth of July parade and picnic. In 2020, the parade was cancelled due to the pandemic for the first time in more than 100 years.

“We are deeply disappointed that we must again cancel the July 4th celebration, but given the state guidelines on public gatherings and our inability to plan with any certainty over the past six months, we made the difficult decision to call off the events,” said Donato DiGeronimo, spokesperson for the Montclair Celebrates July 4th Committee.

The Committee consulted with Township manager before making the decision to cancel the events.

“There’s no one who wants to the July 4th parade more than the committee,” said DiGeronimo. “We know how much Montclair would love to have a parade, but we are hopeful for the future of the event.”

Fralinger String Band performs at 2019 parade.

New Jersey has no capacity limit for outdoor gatherings, however, social distancing must be practiced. The July 4th parade draws thousands of spectators and hundreds of participants. After reviewing the state guidelines, it was determined that Montclair simply does not have the resources to enforce social distancing for such a large public gathering, according to a statement by the committee.

The volunteer committee is working on plans to recognize last year’s Grand Marshal honoree Dan Gill, a Glenfield teacher for more than 50 years.

Bloomfield held its Memorial Day parade today, encouraging residents to line Broad Street to remember and honor fallen heroes.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This is really disturbing. I hope the question has occurred to all you other readers: There is no July 4 parade because a richly educated, delightfully liberal community that did all the right things during Covid is perceived as requiring some kind of heavy-handed enforcement mechanism to control social distancing during a parade? On our own streets? It will be even more troubling if the good citizens of Montclair do not stand up and say enough is enough. We are adults. These are our streets we share, homes that are finally opening up to gatherings, families that have made it through, in times when we are in need of coming together. And some vaguely empowered voluntary Committee has this kind of power over us? Come on.

  2. The only issue is timing. Can some sort of parade be organized in a month? Seems to me where there is a will, there is a way.

    Social distancing is NOT an issue. This is from the NJ state website

    “Outdoor Gatherings
    There is no capacity limit for outdoor gatherings.
    There is no capacity limit for outdoor performances at outdoor entertainment centers, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues.
    Large venues, including sports and entertainment venues, with a fixed seating capacity of 1,000 may hold events at full capacity. Social distancing between individuals or groups is not required.”

  3. As of today, June 4, the state of New Jersey has lifted all restrictions on indoor gatherings. There are no restrictions on Outdoor gatherings (I’m using caps just so no one misses these very basic points).So what’s keeping us from having a Fourth of July parade? There is NO concern for social distancing any longer. If some residents feel uncomfortable, guess what? Attendance at the parade is Not Mandatory! Again, is a little parade this difficult to pull off? With four weeks?